Babies born in Carrick-on-Suir and its hinterland are to receive a gift bag of books under a pilot early literacy scheme starting this week.
Parents will be given the gift bag of three books and literacy information leaflets at their baby’s three month health visit to their local public health nurse.
The Adult Learning Scheme of the newly formed Tipperary Education and Training Board (formerly South Tipperary VEC) is spearheading the 12 month initiative that aims to encourage parents to read to their babies.
“Parents play a central role in a child’s literacy development. Pre-school early literacy experiences in the home can have a profound effect on literacy achievement in formal education,” explained Mary Roche, TETB Adult Literacy Organiser.
“Studies have shown a strong link between the home environment and student achievement at school, particularly when there are books and resources available at home,” she continued.
“Children develop motivation to read by being read to, learning first hand the pleasures that reading can bring.”
Distribution of the gift bags began at the three month health check ups on Monday (July 1).
The pilot scheme covers all babies born in Carrick-on-Suir, Faugheen, Mainstown, Grangemockler, Nine-Mile-House, Rathgormack and Clonea.
Ms Roche said Carrick-on-Suir is the only part of the where scheme is being rolled out. It was chosen because it is a disadvantaged area designated under the Government’s RAPID scheme for extra investment and support.
She thanked Tipperary Libraries, the HSE and County Childcare Committee for supporting the initiative. “We hope this project will help to identify and follow up on needs and that it makes an impact in encouraging more parents to read to their babies,” she added.